Meet Dartmouth Tuck’s MBA Class Of 2021

Nakul Arora

Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College

“An engineer turned entrepreneur, passionate about finding innovative solutions to complex problems.”

Hometown: Haldwani, India

Fun Fact About Yourself: Having done five Vipassana meditation retreats, I have spent a total of 50 days in absolute silence, totally cut off from the rest of the world.

Undergraduate School and Major: IIT-BHU, Mining Engineering

Most Recent Employer and Job Title: Co-founder at Hotel Silver Palace

Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: I am proud of the fact that I was able to set up a hotel and quadruple its revenue in 18 months despite not having a business background. To increase our occupancy rates from 20% to 86%, I had to conduct in-depth surveys to understand our customer base and competition. I also ventured into a partnership with seven major online booking portals to ensure a stronger online presence.

What quality best describes the MBA classmates you’ve met so far and why? I am amazed by how kind and helpful all of my classmates are. My pre-term camping trip was a lot of fun. Despite us being strangers before the trip started, we quickly formed friendships.

What was the key factor that led you to choose this program for your full-time MBA and why was it so important to you? I was looking for programs that had a smaller class size and a strong focus on collaboration and community. Tuck was thus a natural fit. I believe a smaller class size will help me bond with classmates at a deeper level. Tuck’s community is renowned for being tight-knit. I have had every Tuck alumni that I reached out to respond to my request within 48 hours. That is pretty impressive.

What aspect of the school’s culture or values resonates most with you and why? Having worked in the social sector, I believe it’s essential for business leaders to be aware and socially responsible. Thus, Tuck’s “nice” admissions criteria really resonated with me. The focus on being kind but challenging one another prepares us well to be responsible leaders in the future.

What club or activity are you looking most forward to in business school? I am looking forward to actively engaging with the consulting club and getting involved in local community consulting projects.

What was the most challenging question you were asked during the admissions process? I was asked to talk about a time when I was kind to someone. I don’t think I have ever been asked this question before in an interview so it caught me by surprise.

What led you to pursue an MBA at this point in your career? Having set up a hotel/learning centre, I felt an MBA would be an excellent opportunity to hone my business skills. I am looking forward to gaining knowledge in business functions such as marketing, finance, accounting, raising funds, scaling up, etc.

What other MBA programs did you apply to? I applied to Ross and Kellogg.

How did you determine your fit at various schools? I used the following factors to determine my fit:

  1. Class Size: I wanted a smaller class size as that would help me form closer bonds with my classmates.
  2. Community: I was looking for schools with a collaborative community.
  3. Location: I was looking for a college town. Tuck’s location in the Upper Valley mirrors my hometown located in the foothills of the Himalayas back in India.

What was your defining moment and how did it shape who you are? During college, I saw a small child steal while at a railway station. Watching him that day made me question the role my privilege had played in getting me to study at IIT. It made me more aware of the responsibility that comes along with being in a position of privilege. That moment inspired me to enter the social sector in order to give back to the community and has made me into a more socially conscious businessman.

Where do you see yourself in ten years? I see myself in a leadership role at a global conglomerate.

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